Precisely Adjusting Table Column Widths

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 20, 2019)

3

You can, if you desire, adjust the width of table columns by using the mouse. (Just click on the column dividing line and drag it one way or the other.) If you want to adjust the size of table columns so they are precise, it's pretty hard to do using the mouse. You can precisely adjust column width by following these steps:

  1. Select the column whose width you want to change. Word displays two additional tabs on the ribbon: Design and Layout.
  2. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Properties option in the Table group. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Column tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Column tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  6. Using the Preferred Width control, set the column width as desired.
  7. Use the Previous Column or Next Column buttons, as desired, to select other columns.
  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have set all the column widths desired.
  9. Click on OK to close the Table Properties dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5928) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is seven more than 7?

2019-07-03 13:14:44

Ron

The above instructions got me to the right spot (Layout tab), but they didn't solve the issue in my instance. In the "Cell Size" section, you have to select "Fixed Column Width" instead of "AutoFit".


2018-01-27 21:53:09

dsafdsa

This doesn't work because it sets "preferred width" and not exact width. Once you go to the next column Word will then change the width on the previous column however it feels like it should be and ruin all your efforts to be precise. Because the programmers are morons and couldn't simply leave in what you input. They had to decide that we must really want to shrink the other columns every time we enlarge one. And they went through all this trouble to create formulas and routines for this because look how cool this table is at adapting the columns around the column you change. And now it's impossible to get more than one column the size you want. Herp derp derp.

If you wanted to give us a real tip and not waste our time you'd tell us how to access the old style menu within new Word, the one that lets you specify precise column width. Instead it looks like you're trying to copy free instructions from the Microsoft website and sell us on ads.


2016-09-07 14:15:27

cmm912

FYI, this does not work for Windows 2013


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